Kenyan film Something Necessary, candidate for the Griot for the Best feature length film at the 10th FCAT / Two feature length films and the Slum Film Festival will represent the vibrant Kenyan film industry in Spain
CORDOBA, Spain, October 9, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The African Film Festival of Cordoba-FCAT, one of the biggest African film events in Europe, returns from the 11th to the 19th of October in order to celebrate its 10th anniversary. For one week, the festival will screen 70 films made in 32 different countries. A representative sample of Kenyan cinema has been lined up for this showcase, including renowned length feature films Nairobi Half Life by Tosh Gitonga (2012) and Something Necessary by Judy Kibinge (2013). The most recent film will compete for the Griot for the Best Length Feature Film along with eight other films from different African countries.
Rather than tracing the political history of Kenya, Something Necessary sheds light on the effects of the political tension after the elections in 2007 on people, by focusing on two characters, Anne (Susan Wanjiru), and Joseph (Walter Lagat). Anne is a nurse and mother who has lost her husband and whose child is left in coma as a consequence of the violence that is introduced in the opening scenes of the film. Joseph is the odd one out in a gang that isolates him for his fear. Young and born in a broken family, he cannot continue his academic career and will have to look for a job. This is how his life will cross with that of Anne. The subjective camera, which shifts from on focus shots to off focus shots at the beginning, anticipates the fragmented psycho of the characters. As the credits will explicitly state, “the characters in this film are purely fictional. The story is not”.
The scriptwriter, Mungai Kiroga, will be attending the screening on Saturday 13th October at Góngora Theatre (Main Hall) followed by a Q&A, and he will participate in the so-called festival's 'Film Appetizers' on Monday 14th at 1pm. These will be great chances for the Spanish and international audience at the FCAT to critically discuss on world-class film about Kenya and its recent history. Kibinge was born in Nairobi (Kenya) in 1967 but raised in the States since 1973. Her talent came to light when she won a children's writing competition at the age of seven. She has then studied in the United Kingdom and worked in Kenya. Her romantic film Dangerous Affair (2002) won the overall prize at the Zanzibar Film Festival in 2003, what makes Something Necessary a very strong candidate for the Griot.
The second screening of this Kenyan film in competition will take place on Friday the 18th at 7pm, a must-attended event, since it will be preceded by the presentation of the Nairobi-based Slum Film Festival (SFF), a unique film initiative featuring stories from, by and about people living in urban slums. Federico Olivieri, member of the FCAT organization, former cultural cooperation assistant at the Embassy of Spain in Kenya and founder of this yearly film event, will present the SFF in order to promote the event among film experts and enthusiasts. Significantly, one of the members of the jury of the 3rd Slum Film Festival, celebrated last month in Kibera and Mathare, was Kenyan actor Joseph 'Babu' Wairimu, mainly known for his role as the main character in another internationally acclaimed Kenyan film lined up for the 10th FCAT: Nairobi Half Live (Tosh Gitonga, 2012). Winner of the Audience Award at London Film Africa 2012 and many other international festivals, the story portrays the hostility that the Kenyan capital can reach through the character of Mwas (Babu), who is an aspiring actor that will travel to Nairobi to accomplish his dream. However, he will be involved in gangs and consequently in a violence that will shape his maturity as a person and an actor. Nairobi Half Live will be on the screens of Cordoba on Tuesday the 15th of October at 7pm at Vimcorsa and on Friday 18th of October at 5pm at Góngora Theatre (Polifemo Screen).
With its new stories, strong characters and solid film initiatives, Kenyan cinema will outstand in Spain not only for its quality and diversity of voices, but also for the dynamism of its society and film industry.